Last week I was nominated by my friend Darrenn E Canton to share my work on Facebook. While I'm not a huge Facebook person I took the opportunity to share my work. Here are the first 3 days of images I shared.
Day 1- Sketches
Day 2- Ink Drawings
Day 3- Digital Illustrations
Haven't done a process post in a while, and don't think I've ever shown how I digitally color. Starting a design or illustration always starts in a sketchbook or on random straps of paper. The Fungus Behemoth started a while back in my last sketchbook.
I like to sketch in ball point pen, the one thing that always bothered me about pencil is that it smudged everywhere and made a huge mess and I always forgot a pencil sharpener when I needed it. Ball point pens are usually easy to find, even if I forget to bring a pen with me. I start out sketching in red pen then add details and clean up the shapes with black. There's a small sketch of the Fungus Behemoth on the left of a pose and design. Then I experimented with what the face should look like. And in the corner of the page is a little Brownie randomly crashing the party.
Then I'll take the ideas I like, sketch the design and ink it. I always ink with a brush, sometimes I'll use a pen for some details but not often. Like I've said in other posts, FW ink is what I use and will always use. Watery Ink is not my thing.
Next, I scan the ink drawing. I have a Scan Express Pro scanner, it can scan up to an 11 by 17 drawing, which is nice so I don't have to stitch multiple scans together saving time. I'll clean up any random ink and pencil that is scanned before I start coloring. Using multiple layers in folders, I create the base for the piece.
Most of the time, I have an idea of the kind of color palette. But I like to experiment before I settle on the base colors for a piece. Since the Fungus Behemoth lives in swampy forests, it helped flesh out the colors. I try not to use to many colors so it doesn't look like a box of crayons threw up on my drawing, limited colors are better (for me).
After settling on base colors, I start to render the monster. Most people say render as in adding layers of value to create a more realistic look. For me, I am doing the same but not in an ultra rendered way of smooth gradients, more graphically for my work.
Laying in the shadows can be easy sometimes and challenging most times. Adding black to the base color does not create interesting shadows, shadows are color, light is a spectrum, and just because I don't render photo realistic does not mean I don't take the physics of light into account. On the top layer, I'll draw lines that show where the light is coming. After laying in the shadows and experimenting with colors for the shadows, I place color on the base that the creature stands on and add a cast shadow.
Currently I am juggling a few monsters in photoshop at various stages for a personal project in the works. The Fungus Behemoth is a part of it as well. But more on the personal project another day.
Born from the wraith of the sea god himself, the tritons are amphibious creatures constructed of some of the most feared beasts of the sea. Legend said that when a small fishing town began to stop thanking Tritonus (the sea god) for the food, calm waves, and good weather, he became angry for their selfishness of taking with no thanks. Tritonus pulled a rock from the depths of the ocean and carved an army of soldiers. The soldiers had the face of an eel, the fin of a shark, and smarts of a dolphin. After arming his new people, he sent them to the town for an attack. The Tritons sunk the boats and destroyed their equipment. The town was in horror of the aquatic beasts that Tritonus forged from anger. From then on, people made sure to give thanks to Tritonus. Though the story is thought to be pure legend, Tritonus are know to attack ships that enter their territory. Working together in large groups to use shear numbers to intimate their foes. It is rare for Tritons to be seen on land unless they have a reason to leave the water. Some even believe that Tritons are as much legend as the story itself.
Another Bugbear for Monster Monday. I continued with experimenting with adding texture to my ink drawings and have been getting positive results. The Bugbear is a part of a small book that I am creating for promotions to send to Art directors. It's a small accordion book of black and white drawings of monster. On instagram I post a dummy version of the book that helped me decide what changes to add to the final version of the book. The dummy is a little to big for the envelopes I purchased and stronger glue to hold it all together. With the next few days off, I'll be formatting and being the production of my book.
A while back I posted the ink drawing of tihs Forest elemental. I began to digitally color the piece a few months ago and it sat in my work in progress folder. I decided to finish the character as a way to practice digital coloring since I want to continue to improve. Having a Work in Progress folder is helpful, when I feel stumped on a project; I'll search the folder and work on the piece while thinking of how to solve a problem on the other piece. And this helped me finish a new illustration I created for the Art Order challenge that I'll be posting this week.
Ice Giants are scattered all over my sketch book recently. I have done drawings on toned paper in the past few months and only one digital piece. I felt like I was neglecting photoshop lately and needed to get back into digital coloring. Last week I drew a toned paper version of the Ice Giant that did not turn out as well as I hoped. Redrawing the piece on bristol turned out favorable results. Then the photoshop magic begins. Though I do not consider myself a photoshop wizard like my friends.
The original drawing will be traveling with me in September to Illuxcon, where I will be displaying my work in the showcase on Friday and Saturday night.
Bonus line drawing
Yesterday after I got home from work, I was checking out twitter to see that Sketch Dailies topic was Hobgoblin. I haven't drawn a Hobgoblin since the ink drawing that was published in Dungeons and Dragons: Against the Slave Lords book. This piece became a nice break from working on larger pieces. Tony DiTerlizzi's D&D work are some of my favorite illustrations and I was inspired by his ink drawings to work on adding more texture to my own work. So far I liked the results of playing with adding texture and pattern to my work.
This drawing was an experiment with texture. I added more texture then usual and different techniques in the rocks, armor, and cloth of the giant. The results turned out well and it adds more to the piece with space being added to besides adding the black or white to give it interest. Currently there's another piece using a similar technique on the desk using what I learned from the Mountain Giant to help the next piece.
As for the Mountain Giant, I sketched the character in my sketchbook then scaled the thumbnail into photoshop to clean up areas to create the basic shapes in the composition. Then I scanned the sketch of the character in and laid it on top of the thumbnail to see how the drafted figure would work. After all is put together, the frankensteined thumbnail was printed out at full size to create the foundation of the drawing.
A few days ago on my tumblr, I asked for requests of monsters people were interested in seeing drawn in my style. There were a bunch of great creatures, some I never heard of. So in the next few weeks for Monster Monday, I will be drawing some of the monsters. The first requested monster was a cyclops from Greek Mythology. The cyclops' design is more on the traditional side but with less greek influence on the armor design. Had a good time creating the drawing over the weekend as a way to relax after shifts at work. This week I will be posting a large toned paper drawing I have been working on in the past two weeks. I was going to post it over the weekend but after scanning I realized I need to add more texture to parts of the illustration. And I'll be showing a new process I've started to use to streamline my process.
For a while now, I've been using the toned paper with ink. I saw some illustrators using color pencils and markers on the toned paper getting interesting results. I decided to give it a try.
My first successful attempt was the Eye Squid. It took a few tries to figure out what worked. Inking the piece first gave a clear drawing. Then I used some markers and colored inks to lay a base color. I applied some of the techniques I used in photoshop like using a flat base to render on top of. Then I tested each color pencil on a random piece of toned paper to see how the results of each color. After I began to add the pencil on the drawing and created the final image.
Since the technique of ink/markers with color pencil was a result I liked. I drew a larger creature, a Fate Warrior, and used the same process to create the drawing. The creature was designed in my sketchbook and decided it would be a good character to experiment the color technique on the toned paper.
I've only drawn Quillkins a few times and thought it would be another creature to use as practice. This time I used other colors to help enhance the base colors. For example, the belly was colored with a muted yellow then I used a bright yellow color pencil then an orange pencil to add more interest.
The toned paper, ink/marker, and color pencil technique has been an interesting experiment, there are many drawings I started that turned in technicolor nightmares. But it was worth the time in order to create a basis of how I plan to use color on toned paper in the future.
When in doubt, draw an ice giant. Drew this over the weekend to have a smaller toned paper drawing to sell while displaying my work for free comic book day. The drawing is 5 inches by 8 inches. The giant has different horns then I would usually draw, gave the giant deer antlers. And other details set the look that I currently use for Ice Giant designs. Over all was fun practice piece.
A new ink drawing for this weeks monster. It started out as an idea of what a Shambling Mound from Dungeon and Dragons Monster Manual 4.0. But it became more of a Fungus Behemoth. Originally the head was a different design it was similar to a log but after drawing the creature out, it made more sense that the character's head be a mushroom.
This weekend I'll be at the Comic Book Shop of DE, for free comic book day. Stop by for free comics, star wars characters, comic artist and writers as well as illustrators.
A new creature this week are Quillkins.
Quillkins are small creatures that forage through out the Fable Wood digging for seeds and acorns. With their small claws they dig in the soft dirt for food. They live in hallow logs and trees for protection due to their small size. The holes are also used for defense by hiding their body in the dirt and leaving their quills exposed to disguise themselves as grass. Another defense for the Quillkins is to hide and travel together to intimidate predators. Other creatures in the woods work along with the Quillkins for their expertise in finding seeds of plants with healing properties.
I was flipping through my senior thesis I made nearly a year ago and was thinking about adding more creatures to the book and adding more information to the project. I want to re-do the pages I created last year as well as add a bunch of new creatures. And hopefully have a Kickstarter with both the new project and my collected book of drawings, toned paper and digital pieces Conjured Thoughts: volume 1.
For a while now, well since December, I've been working on a drawing of Gothmog from J.R.R. Tolkien's the Silmarillion. It took a few tries at creating completed drawing before I created the image I liked. While listening to the Silmarillion audiobook, I was inspired to draw Gothmog. Balrogs tend to be tricky because of the details of the monster is more descriptive of the fear it created and a few details of how it physically looks. I created my own version of Gothmog the Balrog that is not similar to the portrayal in the Fellowship of the Ring film but based on how I imagined Gothmog as I listened to the book.
Ice Giants are one of those monsters that I could draw day in and day out because of the variety of designs I am able to create. This Ice Giant is of a high rank due to having more sophisticated clothing of the leather chest plate, cape, and tattoos.
I drew this Ice Giant a while back to include into my new book Conjured Thoughts: Volume 1. Conjured Thoughts is a collection of ink drawing, toned paper drawings, and full color digital pieces compiled into a 32 page book. I'll have copies of the book at MoCCA Fest in NYC in April as well as Asbury Park Comic Con. The book includes never before seen drawings like the one above that have never been posted or published on the internet.
Spent Saturday night sitting in my favorite chair sketching and this troll appeared on the paper. He isn't for any project I'm working on but more as a relaxing drawing because is a contained idea so I don't have to think of how it will 'fit' in a world I'm building. But this troll is not for nothing, he may appear in my sketchbook I'm producing for convention season. The book is 32 pages, magazine size and going to be professionally printed. I've created about 22 pages so far and am liking the way the book is turning out. If there are any left over books from conventions in April, I'll have them available online for purchase.
A Tarasque is a dragon of the swamps. It does not resemble the common image of what a dragon usually is. It spends it's time on the ground, hiding in large bodies of muddy water. Camouflage is the technique the creature uses in order to hide it's massive body from armies that could take it down. It prefers to snap out of the water, grabbing it's pretty then drags it into the water to both drown and eat. The large club at the end of it's tail is it's defense from being attacked from behind and it's horns can pierce the best armor. Legend tells of the Tarasque slicing a knight in half with the power of it's jaws.
In Orbis, only one Tarasque remains in the bogs of the North. All others have been killed and kingdoms displays the horns and shells as relics of battle. That last Tarasque has not been seen in hundreds of years. Lots of people believe that none are left, but few believe that the harsh stench of the bogs is the Tarasque breath and don't venture into the swamps.
After a week of drawing goblins, it's time to get back into personal projects for the upcoming convention season. This drawing of a Starken is going to be included in a book I'm creating of wizards in the world of Orbis. I plan it to showcase the different races and magic that exist in Orbis. So far I have 6 drawings inked and I have to color them. This book is going to be in color unlike other zines or comics I've made in the past.
Starken have already had a post about them, but I'll add some new information. This is Master Lo'grom, he is considered an oracle [able to see the future in the smoke of herbs]. The herbs are burned in a specially made caldron created by Starken metal crafters. There's a port on the side of the caldron that a pipe can be attached to breath in the smoke as well as increase the fire. The Oracle often has an assistant to aid by collecting herbs and preparing the cauldron for predictions. It's considered a high honor to have a personal prediction by a Starken Oracle.